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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  March 12, 2011 4:00am-4:30am EST

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production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> this week, earthquake and tsunami in the pacific rim of fire. >> there is nothing radical were on american about holding these hearings. >> the controversial king hearings on muslims in america. >> i am afraid today's hearing may eventually raise suspicion of the muslim community, making us all less safe. >> in wisconsin, collective
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bargaining rights stripped from public workers. >> this is about the middle- class and doing it in a way to avoid massive tax increases and layoffs. >> in washington, congress tried to get its budget act together. >> we cannot keep on spending money we do not have. >> in libya, ragtag forces hand on. should the u.s. intervene? and npr's shoots itself in the foot again. >> it is time to push bird bird out of the nest. >> let me say at the outset we are putting this program together on friday just as we are getting the details on the earthquake and to none in japan. we do not have a lot to add except that modern science and technology have enabled officials in hawaii and the west coast of the u.s. to warn
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residents well in advance. as always, the u.s. navy is ready to respond quickly to events in the pacific with humanitarian relief. beyond that, there is not much we can say at this point. the program is "inside wash.." it has been a long while since a congressional hearing has built up so much advanced + -- publicity, 7 negative. this was on home ground terrorism. ever since the announcement hearings, peter king had been accused of being a latter day joe mccarthy, but he refused to back down. >> to back them would be a craven surrender to political practice and an abdication of what i believe is the main responsibility of this committee, to protect america from a terrorist attack. >> by citing their violent actions to the entire community, you assigned collective blame to a whole group. this is the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating. >> that is democratic
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congressman keith ellison of minnesota, the only muslim member of congress. according to a recent study on terrorism by homeland security and duke university, north carolina, 11 muslim americans have successfully 6 -- executed terrorist attacks in the u.s. since 9/11. the center also reports that tips from the muslim-american community provided the information needed to defeat terrorist plots in 49 cases. colby, do these hearings make sense to you? >> had they been constructed differently. "the economist" said that with peter king running the hearings -- it would be like having a subject handled by a steamroller. the subject is homegrown terrorism, how it comes about, how we handle it, it could have
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been a conduct all -- conductive hearing. he just talked about the muslim community and the community's response to it, putting the onus on the muslim community. we said after the attacks and london, it cannot happen here because of the muslim community. we were wrong. why is it that way? why is that the case? >> charles? >> homeland security says the major threat of islamic radical terrorism is internal. we have had some success since 9/11 in keeping the x turtles from getting into our country and attacking. we do that well. we have a problem that is a recurrent one, the fort hood shooter, the times square attacker, all of those -- the
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somali kid that end up in somalia. we know they are radicalized inside america. of course it is a problem. the attack on king has been nothing but an attack on political correctness of a very high order. >> nina? >> that term political correctness is, at this point, and at that. >> it was meant as an epithet. >> i understand that, but it is incredibly not constructive. these hearings, even if they were about homegrown terrorism in the muslim communities, could have been constructive, but the second part of the hearings, what were billed as was, why isn't the muslim community doing more to condemn this, to fill in the black? the onus was put on the muslim community. there is a good deal to learn about this. the head of counterterrorism in
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the bush administration said this week if the emphasis had been on the first part, we may have learned something, but the witnesses did not tell us anything. >> the champions of the hearing had to be disappointed, as well as the critics. the first day was anything but starke chamber, anything but the inquisition. no one was burned at the stake. nobody was carried away in handcuffs. i do not know what will come of the hearings. certainly, given the attention to the discussion, obviously, both sides are going to have a full airing of their positions. >> did we learn something that we did not know? >> the witnesses consisted of three members of congress, two parents, one individual who advocated for muslim americans,
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and a sheriff from l.a. county. if they had a panel of law enforcement experts from across the country discussing the problem, national experts talking about its, people talking from a political and sociological point of view, why this is happening, why there is radicalization, is it being exploited by al qaeda or is it really homegrown? we could be learning something. >> i agree with you that the hearings were not structured very well, and i am not in mightn't terribly. however, this was an attack in vance, before it happens. the idea of doing this was somehow an american or mccarthy- like. >> the critics when actor peter king because he has close
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relations to the army. >> you can accuse him up across the city, but you cannot say that holding a hearing on the radicalization of young muslims and america is either irrelevant or an important. it is deadly and we need to understand it. >> peter king's personal history was that he was close to the ira. because of that, he was the most effective brokers in the peace agreement. and commended by both bill clinton and tony blair for the constructive and positive role he played. in 2005, he called for the abolition of -- after a bank robbery in northern ireland. >> if this is a problem -- and certainly homegrown radicalization is -- i am not sure how big, but we do not want
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it to get to be a big problem. the people that you call are not the people that they called in this hearing, and you do not build a hearing, as it was -- the second half of the building was an attack on the muslim community for not doing enough. >> it started with 13 dead at fort hood. that was an army captain. >> we need to know how to do something about it. this is not the way. this is more of an attack. >> the governor is playing hardball in wisconsin. >> this is the pearl harbor workers' rights issues. it was a sneak attack. >> if you do not pass major reforms in collective bargaining, local governments were not able to balance their budget. >> all hell broke loose at the capitol in wisconsin after
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lawmakers passed a bill that strict many rights from state workers. protesters thought that they had short circuit in the bill, but gov. marker found a way to get around them. gov. walker is a scoundrel to union members, but how is this going to play out for him politically? >> his war on collective bargaining -- no. i will tell you what he is doing. he presents his case in a measured way, certainly in contrast to the raucous goings on in the capital. he is taken what had become a red state last november, -- republicans won both houses of the legislature and a u.s. senate seat as well as two house seats. he is taking it and turning it into a blue state. the man he beat, the mayor of milwaukee, he now trails by
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double digits. in every major test of public opinion, voters, two 21, indoors -- endorse collective bargaining rights for public employees. >> americans have notoriously short memories. ou i wonder how long this will last. >> take for example mitch daniels. when he took office, he did exactly what walker did by legislation. his numbers went to 37% approval. what he said about what the results would be turned out to be right. he balanced the budget, improved efficiency in the government, he was reelected by 60%. if walker is right, that this is needed to save money for the government, which can then be
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used in other areas, and the economy is strong, he will win. all of this depends now on whether the proposition he laid out about the union's crippling government and making it impossible to carry out, its work rationally and within a budget, is right or not, and we will see. >> there is a sea change of difference between daniels and walker. i know mitch daniels. he did not galvanize the opposition. he went out of his way to do that. he was trying to make a strong political statement on behalf of individuality. he became a poster boy. now the end up -- may end up paying a price.
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>> in wisconsin law, you could not do it by executive order. >> there are significant differences between what happened in wisconsin and indiana. i have been around long enough that i cannot predict with any confidence what will happen in a year or two. i do think that walker now meets the criteria of the powell doctrine. he broke it appears it is his. this defined him as governor. it defines his party even more. it may prove to be a costly victory for the republican party. >> what is going to happen on capitol hill next week? we have until march 18.
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>> they will find a way to fund the government. right now, republicans are on the offensive. the thing about wisconsin, there is a test on the fifth. the republican incumbent is being challenged by a democrat. this will be a fight over constitutionality over what governor walker has done. >> a quick word on the dean of the washington political journalist. david had diabetes. i cannot imagine cover a political campaign without seeing david out there talking to precinct captains and ordinary voters. >> i had the privilege of being in a newsroom with david. people see him on tv as a commentator. i watched him as a reporter. i learned so much from him
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because he did one thing very well that we do not do very well here. he listens. he listened carefully to people and asked questions, wanted to know about people. i try to emulate him. a lot of us try to emulate him because he was just the quintessential journalist. >> he was such a gentleman. i was a young reporter and he was just so generous and so nice. he worked every bit as hard as i did at 20-something. just a remarkable reporter. >> a great, unrivaled reporter, remembered for his callous kindness to the newest reporter on the beat. he would share his sources, ideas, and all the information he had, which was really beyond fear. >> a great journalist, but above all, a gentle man.
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>> david never felt the victim to the disease of self importance. >> which of course never happens on this program. [laughter] >> how to deal with qaddafi. >> are you scared? >> i am not scared. my god is with me. >> that is a 22-year-old college student speaking with makeshift the. -- nick shifflet. should the u.s. intervene in libya militarily? >> i would be circumspect about that for two reasons. a humanitarian intervention can end bad day, as we learned in somalia. you have to ask yourself, do we have a strategic interest here? libby itself, no. you might argue we have a larger strategic increase -- interest in china.
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everything that we see is on the right side of history after supporting dictatorships for half a century. perhaps. but that is a long stretch and trying to sway the outcome of a war where clearly qaddafi is on the offensive and the rebels do not have a clue. it is dangerous because it could suck us into a civil war. >> there are some opinions on shutting down the libyan air force, which is not that formidable. >> people talk about the no-fly zone, but our own justice department has reservations about it. the question is about response. france recognized the acquisition, but at the same time, nicolas sarkozy said that they had reservations moving on military or nato operations. the arab revolution belongs to the arab people. we are seeing some signs that the arab league and the african
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leaders will want to respond to this. the last thing we want to do is allow them to -- we need the region to respond. >> this is a race against time, at this point. qaddafi has the military forces, trained troops. in the race against time, i suspect he will win. certainly, the intelligence chiefs seem to suggest that. when you do a no-fly zone, there is almost always a chapter to debbie rowe. -- two. >> mark? >> i find myself agreeing with charles, which means that one or both of us are wrong. [laughter] it is definitely a time of soul-
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searching. at the same time, we have found out these are not cakewalks, as they were billed in iraq or afghanistan. for that reason, we just have to make that judgment. >> that make a correction, there are two muslim members of congress, the other one being andrea carson. npr's bumpy ride ahead. >> it is clear that we would survive. >> that is ron schiller, formerly the head of fundraising. he was taped speaking to fake muslim people. he had some unpleasant thing to say about the republican party, tea party -- said they were racist. after the story broke, the ceo
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resigned. i offered nina to take -- the chance take the week off. she wants to defend her company. >> i cannot defend the top executives and at cannot necessarily even defend the board, but i can defend the product. there is a reason we are the only news organization, other than fox, with a growing audience. it is because of our product which is straight-shooting, factual, and we spend an enormous amount of money gather news from around the world. judge us by the product. the people in the newsroom were probably more mortified than anyone in the two-party, charles, or anybody else. we were horrified, and not by the political incorrectness of what he said, but by the fact that he even thought this way. >> that plays right into the belief that you are a bunch of
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leftists. >> i know it does, but it is not true. >> charles? >> obviously, you are a liberal organization. this is a taste of what people say internally. everybody knows that. i have no objection to liberal news organizations. the difference between npr growing and fox growing is that fox is not holding out a tin cup for taxpayer money. i want npr to thrive, but not on my time. >> i think npr ought to take that initiative and say, we do not want a subsidy. >> it would kill a lot of the stations. >> we have a market in the country. >> let's go back to what we saw on tv. it was disgusting because he was pandering to get some books. he would say anything to get $5
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million. >> there are 9 herndon 34 public radio stations. a lot of them are in very remote areas and they are the only source of the type of information we are talking about, factual, worldwide reporting. they do not have a lot of deep pocketed patrons, like the upper west side of manhattan. >> i am deeply moved. i would make to the legal point. i do not know why a steelworker in pittsburgh has to subsidize. two, in a world of a thousand radio and tv stations, internet, satellite, if you miss out on a show, there are other ways to get it. it is not as if we are a country years ago. we are now flooded with bad information. of course, npr is good information, which is why i
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should subsidize it, right? >> the reason, charles, at that in an era when newspapers are disappearing in droves, daily, and where commercial forces in television and radio have driven out -- there is a reason that npr has more foreign viewers than any other broadcasting organization in this country, with the possible exception of cnn. more foreign bureaus. there is a reason why a story like bp -- we were the ones that broke the story. the obama administration was not telling us the truth about the amount of the leak. we do the job that news organizations used to do and really do not anymore. they are covering charlie sheen. >> i will give the npr props for being a news organization.
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but that said, when you talk about those smaller stations out there, if there is a legitimate demand for this product, they will find a way to get it. you market it. that is what you do. you do not subsidize. >> if the british can do it, how come the americans cannot? the bbc? >> apparently there is not the will there. anything public in front of it -- i will say this. as an institution, -- it is an institution that has great personalities working, great producing, reporting. it has had a stewardship that has been singularly
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counterproductive, and effective, and harmful. >> if the product is so superior, what does it have to live on the tit of the state? the tone of which you defend it is exactly reflective of what we heard in that kind of liberal arrogance -- >> that had nothing to do with it. it had to do with spending money. >> then spend your own money. every organization spends its own money. why do you have access to the taxpayer? >> to sell products to children. not to teach kids. >> excuse me for speaking why you are interrupting, charles. if you watch children's television, it is mind numbing with the commercialization of it to try to sell to kids.
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>> public television stations do good work, but that kind of work ought to be supported by the market, by the people who watch it. not by the taxpayer. >> i would just like to point out that -- newspapers pulled around the country. people were pointing to npr as the bid is all that could work. >> if you are subsidizing work, of course. >> in an area where there are not enough people to support it, you have to have a subsidy. >> and it is only part of the market. >> i am a fan of the npr supreme court correspondent. see you next week for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to
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